Travelog to the gas station
By Kernan Andrews
IN 1968, several teams of people were sent around Madison, New Jersey, in cars, stopping at various gas stations and asking the attendants to swap the tyres around on the car.
The attendants were asked if the process could be documented on camera and audiotape. When asked about their activities the groups were allowed say what they wanted to explain their activities.
Word soon spread that something was up and the attendants presumed they were being investigated. The participants then returned to Fairleigh Dickinson University to show their Polaroids and play their tapes. Nearly 100 photos were projected at random on a screen and the tapes were played over a loudspeaker. The next day the whole process was repeated but without cameras or tape recorders.
This was Travelog, a 1968 happening initiated by Allan Kaprow (1927 – 2006), a seminal artist who coined the term ‘Happening’ in relation to performance and live art. The aim was to make the familiar unfamiliar and question the difference between actions that are documented and recorded, and those that are not.
This summer, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, held a large retrospective exhibition of Kaprow’s work. The exhibition initiated several re-enactments of Kaprow’s happenings in Los Angeles. The documentation of these happenings will be archived in the Kaprow estate.
Galway will also be taking part in these re-enactments as part of the Tulca visual arts festival - the only Irish city to do so. The re-enactment in Galway will be of Travelog. It will be facilitated by performance artist Áine Phillips.
Galwegians interested in taking part should contact email@example.com. A meeting on the project will take place at 6pm this evening, with the project taking place the following day. For more information contact 091 - 565886